vCloud Director Review

Great extensibility feature, which enables integration of other services

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for infrastructure as a service, which is pretty much a self service, together with a period of management if the customer needs. We are partners with vCloud Director and I'm the manager of virtualization, storage and backup.

How has it helped my organization?

As a service provider, it is key for us to have control over the overall cost of ownership, as well as providing benefits, good service and making a profit. With the help of vCloud Director, we have been able to provide really good multi-tenanted services, making the best use of existing hardware and investments, but reducing our overall CapEx very heavily. As an organization, it has really helped us to sustain a service and continues to help us leave a mark on the market.

What is most valuable?

I think it's a wonderful product. I like the latest features of extensibility, which allows integration of other services and enables us to go beyond infrastructure as a service. We are now in a position where we can also offer platform as a service to our customers. That's a really wonderful feature. Extensibility allows service providers to extend their existing services and integrate them within the vCloud, offering a feature with an overall solution to customers. 

What needs improvement?

One of the elements lacking in the product is integration with the hyperscalers. Using hybrid cloud requires connectivity to other public clouds like Azure or AWS. At the moment that is not possible. If that can be made available as a feature, I think vCloud would become a one-stop shop for everything. We would be able to give a true hybrid service from a single pane of glass, offer everything from a single portal. It becomes a cloud management platform rather than just a simple IaaS natively from VMware. 

Additional features I'd like to see would be flexibility in terms of user permissions rules. I'd also like to see the capability to integrate on-prem dedicated virtual centers within vCloud. There is a CPOM feature which enables integration on-prem with the existing customer into the same portal. At the moment it is very limited, just providing a view. It would be good if we had the capability to make changes from the same portal. Multi-site capabilities would be another additional feature. It is offered but there is room for improvement in terms of other features and functionalities that can be brought in, which would make it more seamless. 

The dashboard for monitoring is very limited and it's not provided out of the box. It's done using a different tool from VMware itself. Having those rich dashboards within the portal itself, directly providing monitoring of the virtual machines, would be great. That is something which is really missing. Performance metrics were completely missing till now. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for eight years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable now, a lot better than it used to be. There are certain issues in terms of making changes at the backend but I have seen a big improvement from previous versions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability as an option was not available earlier. It's possible now but still needs some improvement. We have 300-plus customers and around 10,000-plus virtual machines being hosted. This solution is our main cloud portfolio offering so we use it on a regular basis.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think we have had fantastic support from VMware. We don't use them very often now because it is quite a stable product. They have very knowledgeable support staff. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite straightforward with the new enhancements. It could be improved in terms of how the database's high availability is taken into account. They can still streamline the installation process but compared to when it was launched, it's much better now. With the recent availability of cloud provider hub and cloud foundation, I think deployment can be very easily done within a couple of days and that includes all the planning. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As a service provider, it gives us quite good leverage and flexibility to present our own pricing and create pricing policies, which is really good. 

What other advice do I have?

It's important to have some development capabilities within your organization I think the most important thing is to understand your requirements and what your end goal is because you need to understand whether vCloud Director is going to restrict you or not. It's a very powerful product for service providers. You also need to keep in mind what other service add-ons you want to achieve because your overall design and architecture or blueprint is very dependent on what you want to do. Having a blueprint will provide you with the difference between a wonderful outcome or an unstable one. We've been using this solution a long time so I would suggest that if you want to be in the current market scenario and keep yourself alive, a product like vCloud Director can definitely help you sustain yourself. It keeps you up with the new trends and up to date on your portfolios as well. The fact that we can now go beyond infrastructure as a service is great. We can now expand and be a more versatile provider giving application as a service from a single portal. 

In today's scenario, hybrid cloud and hybrid connectivity is what is really very important. Although Cloud Director provides that sort of connectivity, it is limited within VMware products. If we could hook up with hyperscalers like Azure, Google or AWS, I would give this solution a higher rating.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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